Share with others:
Sept. 26 is a special date to more than a million children who have suffered from orthopedic issues, spinal cord injuries, burns and cleft lip and palate. It was on that day in 1872 that the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine had its first meeting in New York City. Today, of course, it is simply called "Shriners."
How did an organization formed initially only for fun come to benefit more than a million children? In 1922, with polio epidemics repeatedly sweeping the country, the Shriners inaugurated the first pediatric orthopedic hospital in Shreveport, La.
As the "Shrine" grew, so did the world's most remarkable pediatric hospital system. Today, 140 years after the birth of the Shriners and 90 years after the creation of their first hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children now includes 22 hospitals across North America, including Montreal and Mexico City.
All care and services are provided regardless of the patients' ability to pay. To receive treatment, a child must be under 18 and there must be a reasonable expectation the child will benefit from available services.
In Pennsylvania, we are fortunate to have two Shriners hospitals located in Erie and Philadelphia. During the year ending Aug. 31, 40 children from Allegheny County were treated at the Shriners Hospital in Erie.
If you know a child in need of treatment, call 800-237-5055. For more information, visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.
JAMES J. KNIGHTS
Imperial Public Relations Committee
Shriners Hospitals for Children
First Published September 20, 2012 12:00 am